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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Minorette nabs stubborn Sea Queen in Belmont Oaks Invitational

When it comes to turf racing, there is no doubt that the Europeans frequently strut their stuff and run all over their American counterparts. Such was not the case today in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational as Minorette, a Kentucky-bred that began her career in Ireland before shipping back to the States, made a bold late move to pull away late in the stretch.
Away in good order, Minorette settled in third, patiently tracking front running Sea Queen and Wonderfully. With a comfortable lead, Sea Queen clicked off easy fractions, getting the quarter in 24:87 and the half in an undemanding 50:14. She continued to have things all her own way through the one mile call, putting up three-quarters in 1.14:57 and the mile in a slow 1.38:02.
While Sea Queen raced unpressured on the front end, the rest of the field was content to string out behind her. Post time favorite Room Service and her partner in crime Rosalind raced through the early going in last and second last respectively. Second betting choice (first among the Euros) Xcellence also trailed early. While the speed held on the front end, this trio all put in mild bids, most of which nowhere, the exception being the overseas invader.
Approaching the quarter pole, Wonderfully put in a serious attempt for the lead, but her run was repelled by Sea Queen. Minorette, who had sat third throughout the race, took the second shot at the leader, finally getting past Sea Queen inside the final 100 yards. Sea Queen held second, and Summer Solo closed from mid-field to nab third. Xcellence, the Europeans’ best hope, could only manage fourth. The order of finish was completed by Wonderfully, Goldy Espony, Room Service, Flying Jib, Rosalind and Recepta.
Minorette completed the 1 ¼ mile Belmont Oaks in 2.01:64. Off odds of 6-1, the 4th betting choice, the daughter of Smart Strike returned $14.60/$6.30/$5.50. Sea Queen (9-1) paid $9.60/6.80, and Summer Solo (34-1) rewarded her backers with $11.60 for a show bet. The $2 exacta returned $106, the $2 trifecta paid $2,005.00, and the $2 superfecta was worth $10,163.00.
By Smart Strike and out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Silk and Scarlet, Minorette improved her record to 7: 2-1-2, recording her first win since breaking her maiden at Naas on July 10, 2013. In winning today, she turned the tables on Sea Queen who had beaten her in their last start, the 1 1/8 mile Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont. The $535,000 winner’s share of the $1 million purse pushed the filly’s total career earnings to $603,774. By virtue of this victory, Minorette also earned an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Owned by Coolmore Partners Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Minorette was saddled by Chad Brown and ridden to victory by Joel Rosario. Now a Grade 1 winner herself, the Belmont Oaks winner continued the success of dam Silk and Scarlet as a broodmare. The mare also produced Grade 1 winners Master of Hounds and Eishin Apollon. Master of Hounds earned his Group 1 winner status in the United Arab Emirates, whereas Eishin Apollon earned his Group 1 victory in Japan. With Minorette becoming a Grade 1 winner in the United States, that gives Silk and Scarlet Grade/Group 1 winners on three different continents. 


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I was very impressed with the finish of the previously unbeaten longshot NY-bred, Summer Solo.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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